Me, ugly and evil
It’s an eternity since Ash Williams has set his feet and his great wand on the territories of consoles and PCs. His last truly memorable achievement goes back to 2005 on PlayStation 2 with his Evil Dead Regeneration, a thoughtless hack’n’lash beast who tried to justify his purchase with a supposedly cannon (but not actually) ghostly story. The only thing that saved him: Bruce Campbell’s vocal performance, always ready to get into the worst of bad times.
Unfortunately, the first minutes of play are over Evil Dead: The Game brings directly back to this ancient memory bathed in anger. Graphically, the title of Saber Interactive is a true visual attack. Not because of the hectoliters of hemoglobin dripping from the corpses of the carcasses that Ash and company happily harvest, but because of the graphic charter choices that were made. The character design is cross-border insulting made for the saga created by Sam Raimi.
What are these bits and pieces?
The characters appear to have been modeled in a hurry at a low-end development station. Safe, Evil Dead: The Game is not a big AAA blockbuster. But at this point, it is reasonable to wonder if any creative effort has been put into the character designers. With the exception of Ash, all the heroes appear to have the same face, which has been added a goatee for the knights, or long hair and lipstick for the female characters.
In addition, the fact that technically, the game is unworthy to send an AA or AAA title in 2022. The set is so ugly that it looks like it came straight out of an obsolete PS3 or a sick PS4. The sets are empty, the level design is lazy as it may be, and what about the animations? Aside from the neat closing motions, the main characters, whether demons or humans, roam around the screen as if a collection of brooms had been introduced into their foundation.
Severe acne problems
We could then try to convince ourselves that a game is not judged by its graphic packaging, but by its content. Even from this point of view, when explored solo, the title of Saber Interactive is completely rejected. After a mandatory tutorial that makes the absolute minimum, the software offers no campaign or any script adventure. It will be necessary to be content with five not very exciting chapters / missions that have been completed in less than six hours.
But almost inexplicably, when the urge to turn off your PC or console and leave it all as a bad memory is strongest, you are tempted by a multiplayer game. And then a real revelation occurs.
Ready for a good game
When you imagine Saber Interactive waving its wand for almost 2 years to produce Evil Dead: The Gamethe urge to send them an army of corpses through the Necronomicon is almost irresistible. It’s only by telling ourselves that we’re hit rock bottom, and for the sake of conscience, that we’re starting multiplayer mode … And everything is changing.
The title unfolds according to the simple principle of one asymmetric multiplayer game, in third-person viewmodeled after the diagram of a Death by daylight or a Friday the 13th. The clashes take place four against one, four players embodying the protagonists of the trilogy evil death and of Ash vs Evil Dead, and another becomes the embodiment of evil in the person of a Demon from Kandar. The goal is simple: destroy the Necronomicon and get rid of demons for the heroes, terrorize and massacre the good guys for those who have chosen the dark side of the force.
The beautiful nipple
It is in this configuration that the title is fully expressed and delivers its total playful potential. For many, the game has been transformed: thanks to its concept of combat that resembles a hyper-funny, dull, and stupid survival thriller, the game compensates for its lack of technical know-how with a crazy and uninhibited atmosphere.
With a few friends (online only) at hand, the software becomes very addictive : We’re surprised to link the games together for hours. In case of lack of players, an AI will replace the absent ones, and note that the title is 100% cross-play and cross-platform, ideal for never running out of reinforcements on the battlefield.
Despite the few different game modes, limited to 5, and a number of sets that fit on two hands, the sauce is evil death takes fast. Players who have decided to be on the right side of the fence will have the choice between 13 characters in total, from Lord Arthur to Pablo to Cherry and Amanda, divided into four character classes: Team Leader, Warrior, Hunter and Support. Each class has different stats, characteristics, and skills, so you will need to put your team together according to these to be effective in combat.
They are stupid and ugly, but damn effective
The formula will be very different for lovers of rotten meat, who will have the choice between three options: Warchief, Puppeteer and Necromancer, each demon cast has its own magical abilities. The gameplay of these dirty beasts is particularly entertainingtheir skills in necromancy and magic interfere with the approach one could have in the skin of a human being.
It is in multiplayer that we also see the enormous work that the developers have delivered with the sound design and the overall sound design of the game, where most of the enemies identify themselves by the sound before they see them. But even more, it is actually the fact of embodying the characters of the saga that is a real pleasure. Hearing Bruce Campbell release “Groovy” is a pleasure, Dana Delorenzo has returned to double Kelly Maxwell, the same for Ray Santiago taking over the role of Pablo Simon Bolivar. A true not even guilty pleasure that will secure fans hours of pure fanboy orgasm.
Arthur is there too, unlocking a few missions
too much fan service (and that’s good)
Once again, as for his models Death by daylight and Friday the 13thmost of the fun comes from being able to dive head first into the license that serves as the breeding ground for the game. Death in daylight enjoys regularly adding new collaborations, resident Evil to quiet hill Passing by hellraiser, Friday the 13th he is only worth it when you play Jason Voorhees (no one wants to play the permanent victim). Evil Dead The Game has for him the fact of being as lovable on the side of the magnificent good guys / losers as the demons.
And if the simple and effective gameplay has a lot to do with it, what places evil death above the competition is its management of fan service. He is there everywhere, all the time. The sets for each mission are directly from the cult sequences of the trilogy: the iconic hut lost in the forest ofEvil Dead 1 and 2 is present, as is the surrounding forest. Ash’s caravan is in the game and we can enjoy a ride aboard his magnificent yellow Delta 88.
This is not occupied
The weapons are of the same genus: it’s with pleasure that we grab Ash’s boomstick, Kandar’s dagger, Arthur’s sword, the hero’s chainsaw, or that we use Ash’s hand mechanics made by Pablo in Ash VS Evil Dead. On the side of the demons, the developers have pushed the vice so far that they are able to hide Ash’s damned hand in a coffin so that it jumps into the throat of the survivor who wants the audacity to open it. Sadistic laughter of guaranteed satisfaction.
The fan service is there, everywhere, all the time and devilishly (haha) well distilled. For any self-respecting fan, Evil Dead: The Game is the guarantee of a regressive ecstasy, which removes the technical shortcomings of the title. Between the nervous and uninhibited aspect of the multiplayer games and this crazy atmosphere that is cultivated on the breeding ground of the license evil death, hard not to want to go back as long as you appreciate the honesty. As for the players who are canned by Sam Raimi’s film, they will go their way without looking back, for nothing will save the ship in their eyes.
Evil Dead: the Game is available since May 13, 2022 on PC, Xbox One and Series, PS4 and PS5, and coming soon to the Nintendo Switch. This test was performed using a PC version provided by the publisher